By: KALD | Voltaonlinegh.com |
After months of anticipation and intense campaigning, the people in the northern part of the Volta region, which is earmarked for the proposed Oti region are set to go to the polls in a historic referendum, to decide the fate of their long cherished desire of having a region to themselves.
Some 366,545 registered voters across eight districts and municipalities as well as four other traditional areas, in the Oti enclave are expected to turn up at some 814 polling stations to vote on whether the proposed Oti region should be created or not.
The polls being conducted by the Electoral Commission is running from 7:00am to 5:00pm in the affected areas of Jasikan, Kadjebi, Biakoye, Nkwanta North, Krachi West, and Krachi Nchumuru districts, in addition to Krachi East and Nkwanta South municipalities as well Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe traditional areas, taken out of the Hohoe municipality.
About 3,256 electoral officials, four per each centre have been deployed for this novel constitutional exercise, in which voters have the chance to choose between colours, yellow and brown, representing ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ respectively on the ballot paper.
The exercise which is ongoing in the five other proposed region across the country, is the first of its kind under the fourth republican constitution of the Ghana, and voters have a huge task of meeting the constitutional requirement of atleast 50 per cent turnout and 80 per cent ‘Yes’ vote to guarantee the creation of a new region.
As a result of the mounting tension ahead of the polls, about 1,000 security personnel have been deployed to the Oti enclave to police the process, according to the Volta Regional Police commander, DCOP Francis Doku.
He said the security is on high alert for some group of persons, who per intelligence gathered intend to disrupt the exercise due to their opposition to the region creation.
Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Krachi East, Mr. Michael Dzato has cautioned anti-Oti campaigners to stay off the area, as any attempt by them to derail the process will be fiercely resisted by the people.
He told correspondent, Fred Duhoe in an interview at Dambai that, “whoever comes to the Oti enclave to register a No vote will be resisted with our blood,” stressing that, “We don’t anticipate any ‘No’ vote in the referendum because all our people are yearning for development. Anyone within the Oti region who wants to vote ‘No’, has no problem with us but anyone from outside the mapped area who may want to, will have themselves to blame.”